Posted: Thu 23rd Jul 2020

Flintshire business owner pulls plug on plans to sell alcohol from home address after 80 objections filed

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Jul 23rd, 2020


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The owner of a Flintshire hospitality business has pulled the plug on plans to sell alcohol from his home after they attracted a total of 80 objections.

Jason Stevens, who runs Rice Box Events, applied for a premises license for Bryn Morgan House in Northop after seeing 95 per cent of his bookings for weddings and other events wiped out this year because of the coronavirus.

Since lockdown measures were introduced in March, Mr Stevens has kept his business going by using a converted horsebox to sell wood fired pizzas from outside the property on Starkey Lane.

He wanted to take the plans further by gaining permission to serve alcohol from a tipi, as well as playing live and recorded music.

The proposals were due to be considered by a Flintshire Council licensing sub committee at a meeting which was due to be held tomorrow .

However, Mr Stevens has now revealed he has withdrawn the proposals at the eleventh hour following concerns it would cause a nuisance for people living nearby.

In a post on Facebook, he said: “It’s not with some regret that today we withdrew our application for a premises license.

“Thank you for all your support with this idea but health, family and some level of sanity are more important than trying to fight for business survival with funky new ideas and an amazing opportunity to bring something new to Flintshire.

“We’re a creative bunch so will find other ways to keep going.”

Mr Stevens said the pizzas had become popular with NHS staff and other key workers left with little time to cook.

But neighbour Steve Williams was among those who had urged councillors to dismiss the request ahead of the meeting.

In an e-mail to the local authority, he said: “There is only one field dividing us from this event tent and I have clear view of it from my back garden.

“There will be absolutely no doubt that live music and crowds drinking alcohol will be able to be heard at my house.

“We will be able to hear live or recorded music and people drinking alcohol and laughing etc.

“This would be nothing but a public nuisance and distressing to the family.”

The decision to withdraw the application comes despite 35 letters of support also being received, including from businesses who have worked with Mr Stevens.

Deeanne Rothwell, who runs the Top Monkey pub in Northop Hall, described him as “highly responsible”.

Mr Stevens originally insisted live events would not be a regular occurrence and claimed approval was needed to keep his business running during the COVID-19 crisis.

However, the council has confirmed the cancellation of the licensing meeting following his decision not to proceed.

Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).

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